Friday, February 23, 2007

General Assembly Updates: Dominion "Re-regulation" & Smoking Ban

The General Assembly has passed legislation to give Dominion wide latitude to build new coal-fired power plants with only voluntary measures for renewable energy, conservation, and energy efficiency. Please contact Gov. Kaine and tell him to veto this bad bill!

As for smoking legislation, Sen. Brandon Bell is trying one last way to get a smoking ban through. With Bell's support, the Senate passed a bill that would actually eliminate the requirement that restaurants have nonsmoking sections. That could allow Gov. Kaine to amend the bill to include a workplace smoking ban:
Killing a governor-amended version of the bill would require a floor vote in the full House, [Virginians for a Healthy Future Chair Cathleen Smith] Grzesiek said.

"We'll get an up or down vote from the House," Grzesiek said.

That's been something her coalition has been pushing for since last year, and it would allow advocates to target individuals who vote against a smoking ban.
At long last, every member of the House would finally have to step out of the shadows and publically state their position on a smoking ban. Who are they beholden to, Virginia's citizens or the tobacco companies? Even if the ban failed, at least the people blocking it would have to wear that badge of shame on the campaign trail this fall, when every member of the General Assembly is up for re-election.


Anonymous said...

Your right to complain about "secondhand smoke"is based on an EPC study released in 1992
which claimed that breathing said smoke causes 3000 deaths a year. It was reviewed and overturned by a federal judge on the grounds that it was fraudulent, as are any complaints based on it.

Tobacco foes then put out the word that "You don't have to believe it's deadly, just say you don't like to smell it." This claim is likewise fraudulent given proper ventilation of enclosed spaces--a simple matter.

That leaves you with one final basis for complaint--you like the ego trip of kicking smokers around. For such a value to drive public policy is despicable and should not be tolerated by civilized people--smoker or not.

The Green Miles said...

Always love the bold criticism from anonymous commenters. My complaints are actually based on the Bush administration's own surgeon general who put out a report just eight months ago concluding that:

* There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke: even small amounts of secondhand smoke exposure can be harmful to people’s health.

* Many millions of Americans continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

* A smoke-free environment is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.

The Green Miles said...

Oh, and one more thing. This is America, jack. A federal judge can issue enough rulings to paper the National Mall, but my right to bitch and moan about whatever I damn well please is protected by the First Amendment.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I'm a part-time smoker and 2-time Bush voter who believes the Virginia re-reg bill w/o "real" energy efficiency & conservation amendment, does not properly serve the citizens of Virginia.

Secondly, I believe the manufacturing of tobacco products for the purpose to inhale them, should be outlawed in the United States.

Anonymous said...

I had a total of seven uncles, one died of a brain tumor at 43, the other six lived into their nineties.
All were heavy smokers, all ate high-fat diets.

Am I gonna believe that fact or am I gonna believe tobacco nazis who say smelling smoke is deadly and it takes a hurricane to ventilate it?

The Green Miles said...

Dan, you're a smoker who thinks the manufacturer of smokes should be outlawed? I'd certainly be interested in hearing more, please write more if you have time.

Anonymous said...

I work with Virginians for Sensible Energy Policies and strongly agree that this latest energy legislation is irresponsible at best, especially as it is passing through the legislature at the same time that Dominion is seeking to erect hundreds of millions in high-voltage transmission towers. Dominion has yet to prove that Virginians need this excess power, yet they plan to build the towers anyway and stick the citizen of Virginia with the bill. I'd encourage you to visit for more information.